This is not the best written either. Like, think lots of mistakes. You know how I keep getting excited and spewing fic? Yeah. Anyway, it's not really beta'd, again. Had a friend, PrincessNiallxHoran on ao3, read it over real quick and she didn't seem to find it abhorrent. So.

Oh, also! AND THIS IS IMPORTANT. This is a cluster of four separate but sort of interconnected fics, if we want to look at them like that. Each new 'ficlet' starts off with a line and a quote! o.O.o.O.o is used to signify breakswithin ficlets. Got it? Good. :) also, also, SLASH. 00Q. You have been warned. Bitch and thou shalt be flayed.

On a final note, check out our Tumblr! We love hearing from you! We're thetwowriters!


Summary: Getting together is one thing, actually making it work is another- other known as: four instances that have a major impact on Q's perception of his and Bond's relationship.


"Keep me safe, live for me-"

Having the dubious honor of being the boyfriend of certain obnoxious double-0 agents, as Q's been finding out, is one part wonderful, two parts weird, and twelve parts sheer frustration- the likes of which Q had never presumed to be involved in.

Even though he should have, really.

(Case in point, the Great Dating Debacle that had been their sort of courting period- which, admittedly, Q is still a tad bitter about.)

Still though, Q has to wonder how they've ended up here.

"What on earth," he asks, trying to stay calm and only marginally succeeding as he takes in the sights of their (and it is theirs now) newly ruined living room, "do you think you're doing?"

Bond just raises an eyebrow, an image which would have been a lot more condescending if weren't for the screwdriver between his teeth.

"No really," he says, gritting his teeth and trying his best not to become one of those domestic abusers that the news seems so fond of. "What in the actual hell, are you doing?"

He's not being unreasonable here. Their once relatively undamaged flat looks like a storm had passed through it.

There are wires all over the place, the reasons for which Q can not only guess at but can also offer better alternatives for; there's what looks to be a small factory's worth of plastique lined up right next to what had once been gorgeous panel flooring, and there seems to be- oh dear Lord is that broken glass in those little baggies?

Q is about two seconds away from a total melt-down, which will only result in heretofore unseen amounts of violence, if James fucking Bond doesn't open his bloody gob and talk.

Luckily for him, Bond seems to understand his rather precarious position because he actually bothers to spit out the screwdriver and use words, like an actual person.

"I," he says, a pointed look on his face as though Q should have thought of this beforehand, "am fortifying our flat." The 'like you should have done ages ago' is left unsaid even though it's heard loud and clear anyway.

The bastard.

Q is, in a word, unimpressed.

"So I noticed," he says, voice flat in the sort of way that preludes a proper screaming match. "I meant, why?"

"Well you should've just asked that, then," Bond fires back, actually looking affronted, as though such pedantry had ever mattered to him. He also blatantly doesn't answer Q's question before resolutely turning back to doing whatever it is that he'd been doing before Q had come home- because he is the bastard king of deflection.

He's got that sort of look on his face though. The one that he'd had when he originally projected his romantic intentions at Q until Q had finally gotten a clue and had proceeded to proverbially brain him with it- the same shifty look that involves fleeing at the first whiff of a 'feelings' talk of any sort.

Oh dear Lord, Q thinks, this is going to be one of those things.

How is this even his life, he wants to know. He's stuck with the world's only intelligent moron for a lover. He really doesn't deserve to deal with this shit, overthrown governments and associative blood on his hands notwithstanding, because no one ever actually deserves to deal with this crap.

But because Q is a phenomenal boyfriend, he just sighs instead of forcing the issue. Granted, it doesn't hurt that he already knows exactly what the issue is.

After all, it's a known fact, practically a legend even, that James Bond doesn't have the luckiest of records when it comes to significant others. His love to tragedy ration is, frankly, alarming- and yes, alright, Q doesn't expect anything quite that bad to happen to him because, contrary to popular belief, he is a trained agent of MI6 and can, in fact, hold his own. He isn't going to get captured without a damaging fight, one which the other party would more than likely lose.

-and that's not including the various booby traps of his own that he's installed over the years.

There really is no need for Bond through all the effort of safety proofing a place that's already safety proofed by the best mind that England has to offer.

On the other hand, if this is what James needs, if this is what it takes for him to feel safe with handing out his already fractured heart- then so be it. Q isn't going to deny him this- at least, not as much as he normally would if it were anyone else.

"Bother," he states before sighing again. James Bond should not have this sort of effortless power over him. Q shouldn't be letting Bond, beloved boyfriend or not, get away with destroying what had once been a relatively decent living room.

But alas.

"I'll just go and put on the kettle then, shall I?" he says with a small groan, before resolutely walking away to do just that.

That night though, as Q gets fucked in some highly creative ways, he finds that he (actually, physically, and somewhat literally) can't complain; at least, not really, and especially not when Bond curls around him afterward and whispers a heartfelt, "Thank you."

Although Q has to wonder for a second: for what? For not calling him out on his behavior? For letting him destroy their humble abode in the name of security? For staying alive despite the bad karma that follows them around like some sort of deranged puppy? For letting himself love a man with so many broken off pieces that he's liable to cut himself to ribbons at some point?

Then he dismisses the thought process altogether- stops himself from asking, even if he desperately wants to on some level, because he's very much afraid that the answer will be all of the above. He doesn't think he can handle anything like that coming out of James' mouth without some sort of emotional response of his own.

Fact of the matter is, there's still a small part of him that fears that James will leave if he ever catches wind of how deeply Q feels for him, months and years of hearing rumors and dealing with the man himself making it hard to get past.

In response, he just turns around and curls back into his poor, broken boyfriend- arranges those hulking limbs to his liking and ignores –r-e-v-e-l-s-i-n- the silent huff of amusement it brings out.

"I'll do my considerable best to always come back to you," he doesn't say, even he though probably should- because he isn't ready to make promises that he might not be able to keep and he knows that Bond doesn't want to hear it. He also doesn't have the courage to say, "I'll do whatever is necessary to always be by your side."

So he rests his head on Bond's chest instead, unerringly finding his heartbeat after all these months, and he says, "My God, man! Must you be so chatty after sex?"

He thinks Bond understands what he means, anyway- at least, he hopes he does.

-and if he doesn't, well, Q will tell him one day. He's pretty sure that he'll grow the balls at some point, possibly even in the foreseeable future.


"Love me as I am, even when I can't love myself, please-"

Their relationship doesn't transition quite as smoothly as everyone expects. After all, there are still protocols to consider, along with psych evaluations and not to mention Bond's personal record.

Surprisingly (or maybe not, Q isn't sure), it's the last that proves to be the most difficult hurdle to clear. Worse still, it isn't even M who makes their life difficult, even though if anyone could, it would be her.

No, it's everyone else that causes problems.

Incidentally, it starts off with Tanner who, in his own bumbling way, tries to warn Q to protect his heart because Bond has a dangerous job and also has the tendency to fuck around a lot and is Q prepared for that?

"Are you sure?" he asks one day as he brings Q an actual, edible lunch. "Are you positive that you want to go through this?"

Q makes grabby hands for the tupperware in Tanner's grasp, because Tanner is an amazing cook and Q would actually marry the man if it weren't for the fact that he's already in a relationship. As it is, on some days, it's a close call on what, or who, he loves more.

"Well," he says, magnanimous in his victory and ignoring Tanner's eye roll as he finally hugs the warm box of food to his chest. "I work in MI6- danger goes hand in hand."

"Also," he continues on, mostly as a joke unless Tanner says yes, in which case he'll accept it with open arms, "if Bond breaks my heart, you're just going to have to cook for me so I can eat my pain away while I watch crap telly to soothe my soul."

He's not above exploiting Tanner's good nature, especially if it means more delicious food.

Tanner just gives him a wry look. "Most people eat ice-cream," he says, his voice as dry as the Sahara, "and cake, sometimes. But mostly ice-cream."

Q just scoffs at him as though offended, and says, "That's because none of them have realized how well you can cook yet. And I, for one, will make sure that it stays that way."

It's simple logic, really. The less people who know, the more Q gets to eat. The ratio is inversely proportional unless it's 1:1. Q plans on maintaining the status quo such that it remains in his favor.

"Greedy little shit," Tanner says in the meantime, voice so fond that Q has to melt a little, before he just shrugs and steps off. "Lots to do, then," he says with a groan. "M is being a right, well, you know."

Q let's him go because, in the end, while his opinion may grate beyond all belief, Tanner means well and he isn't trying to make Q break it off. He just wants to make sure that Q is making an informed decision, to make sure that Q won't be ripped apart; Q can't begrudge him that.

Especially, he thinks with a grin on his face, if the man keeps bringing food.

That and as long as Bond never finds out because Q knows his boyfriend and knows that, even though he'd try to pass things off as inordinately funny, even though he'd use it as an excuse to label Tanner as the resident mother-hen, he'd be upset. Mainly because he's been putting so much effort into making sure that Q doesn't hurt because of him.

Thankfully, however, Bond is currently on a flight to Caracas so Q doesn't have to kill Tanner in one of the more gruesome ways in his repertoire.

o.O.o.O.o

Then comes Eve, who just wants to warn Q to guard his heart because apparently, she has no doubts that Bond will break it. She's a good deal more persistent than Tanner had been.

"He did the same with me, you know," she says one day, with the air of one who speaks from personal experience, "He'll sleep with you and then go off to fuck around with another girl like it never meant a thing."

"Well," Q goes to say, even as he tries to delicately piece together two pieces of what had once been a single cufflink, "maybe it didn't mean an-"

But she speaks right over him. "Don't get me wrong," she says, a fond smile on her face, "I'm not saying that he's a bad bloke. And he's a handsome one, I'll give you that. But I wouldn't say that he's boyfriend material, hey?"

Q blinks. "Your opinion is noted," he says, before resolutely turning back to his work. He isn't going to make a big deal out of this because sadly, Eve does have a point and Q would be stupid not to take note. However, he isn't going to let her think that it has any sort of effect on his own thoughts, because it doesn't.

Besides, he's got better things to do, like repairing this thrice damned micro-cufflink such that it doesn't get someone killed or worse, leave them alive so they can come back and bitch about it.

Eve just shakes her head and says, "Your funeral, Q," before taking off to do whatever it is she does, because she is busy and important and doesn't have time to do much of anything except her job-

-and stick her nose in where it doesn't belong, apparently.

"You can come out now," Q says, long after Eve leaves and his patience wears thin, resolutely not looking at the corner where he knows his boyfriend is sulking..

"She's right you know," Bond says, as he melts out of the shadows with practiced ease, "that is my long standing pattern."

Oh, so it's going to be one of those things, then, Q thinks with a mental groan.

"And your point?" he asks, eyebrow raised, because he knows James Bond better than everyone else by now, and he knows that there is only one way to truly drive the point home.

Bond tsks, as though Q's childish games are beneath him. "My point," he says with emphasis, "is that the same could happen to you. You never know."

Right.

"Ha, I don't think so," Q doesn't crow even a part of him desperately wants to, "You gave all that up for me."

Instead, he stays calm and precise, because he really isn't that much of a shite in the end and because he knows that Bond is actually, desperately placing all his hopes on the next words to come out Q's mouth.

Q refuses to disappoint.

"I resent the implication that I am not all knowing," he says after thinking through his many options, perfectly deadpan, as though he's serious, even though he is more than aware that the universe is too expansive to know all, and revels when Bond has the intended reaction-

Laughter, albeit a little incredulous and a lot disbelieving, as though he can't believe that this is the reaction Q is having- as though it's a surprise that Q isn't running for the hills already.

But Q figures he has the time to fix that horrid, defeatist thought process. It may take the entirety of his lifespan, and assuming that there is an afterlife of some sort, it may take that too.

Q is more than willing to make that sacrifice.

"I am very hurt," Bond says a few minutes later, sounding anything but, sounding happy even, as he slowly pulls away from the wall that he'd been leaning on, "you should take me out to dinner to make up for such heartache."

Thank God, Q thinks with a mental sigh of relief.

"I think not," he also fires back, out loud and eyeing the other man warily as he starts to slink closer, as though he were a particularly large cat, "I'm afraid that it simply isn't in my budget to feed wayward double-0s today."

"Besides," he goes on to say, "if that's the case, you should be hounding ."

Bond just chuckles. "Cheap," he says, with an eyeroll thrown in for good measure- and Q would squawk about it, but there is so much affection in those words, so much everything, that all he really hears is, "I love you," and, "Thank you for not leaving me."

The soft kiss Bond gives him before trotting off for his next mission only seals the idea further into his head.

Also, it puts him a good enough mood so that he doesn't have to go after Eve and murder her.

Further still, he forces Bond into casual clothes that night and drags him, kicking and screaming, to the cinema. They watch some horrid spy movie that has no basis in reality because that's what Bond gets for breaking that cufflink.

o.O.o.O.o

It doesn't just end there, everyone else takes a go too, the interns, other double-0s, some of the higher ups that have a vested interested in keeping Q in one functional piece- they all come and talk to him about how this is one of the worst decisions he'd ever made.

To be honest, it doesn't really bother Q because again, they do have a point in all this. They're just trying to look out for either his or their own best interests.

So yes, it doesn't particularly bother Q, even though it does annoy him in a vague sort of way.

The thing of it, though, is that Bond has issues with the whole thing, even though he won't admit to it, because even he can only take so much adversity before he starts to shatter.

That much is evidenced by the fact that, one afternoon, the man walks into Q branch with a cup of tea and a look on his face as though someone's kicked his brand new, replacement Aston Martin.

"We need to talk," he says, carefully placing the tea on Q's desk, "preferably right now, if you've got the time."

Q has to wonder if the man even understands the implications behind his wording, even as makes a production of closing his laptop and putting it on standby mode.

"You have my full attention," he says, eyeing the man warily because something has been wrong for weeks and Q is hopefully, finally getting some answers, "What is it, then?"

"In light of recent events," Bond responds, a little too abruptly and suddenly formal in a way that, well, he pretty much never is, "I believe that it would be best if we were to terminate our relationship."

It takes a moment for that to sink in, because there is a single, sparking moment where panic sets in and makes his brain turn to rubber- because no one ever wants to hear those words out of their loved ones' mouth- but when it finally clicks, when he remembers just what the situation is, Q frowns. Mostly because this has officially been the biggest waste of his time.

"Your request, Bond, has been taken into consideration," he says, carefully hiding the slight rage and the hurt, before pointedly opening his laptop back up, "and it has been denied."

Bond sputters because that's clearly not the sort of response he'd been expecting.

"What," he says, "do you mean, denied?"

Q just raises an eyebrow because really. Who does his boyfriend think he's trying to fool? Bond needs to remember that Q is quartermaster for a reason, and not only because he's been able to hack into the MI6 servers since he was primary school. He needs to remember that Q is more than capable of reading people, especially if said people are the ones he lives with.

Legitimately, Q should be kicking the man out and working himself into a right snit, maybe even putting other people (like M) in extracting divine retribution- but he'd known just what was signing up for when he'd fallen into this relationship. So instead, he just puts on his most judgmental expression and beams at James bloody Bond's smug fucking face.

Bond just, he just crumples.

Mind, it takes a small eternity- and a whole lot of determined staring, really- but Bond eventually deflates, as though accepting defeat, of any sort, is some sort of monumental task.

"Fine," he growls out, because he is (and has always been, if M is to be believed) a sore loser, and proceeds to drape himself all over Q's back and shoulders, to bury his face in Q's neck like a small child seeking comfort. "Don't blame me when everything goes pear-shaped and people start to really bother you about this."

"Not that I don't appreciate the effort," Q retorts back even as he absentmindedly pets the man's hair, because he is not happy, "Oh wait, I don't, and the next time you do something like this, the consequences will be dire. But here's a novel idea, why don't you just ignore people instead of stewing in your own angst? It's none of their bloody business what we have, and it would do you good to remember that."

Bond only sighs and burrows in even further, because he knows just how endearing he is when he does it, the bastard, and he knows that Q won't be able to maintain his temper for long. "I just- I don't want you to get hurt," he grumbles out, "Is that so wrong?"

He says it as though it hurts to make that confession which, knowing the man, it just might -and possibly for the hundred thousandth time, Q is reminded of just who he's dealing with, of who he's got the misfortune of loving so dearly.

"No," he says an eternity later, and a little pointedly, "it's not."

"Having you leave would cleave me in two," he doesn't say, "It would shatter me so badly that you'll never find all the pieces." But he thinks Bond gets it anyway, if the tightened hug and whispered apology is anything to go by.

"I'm sorry," Bond mumbles, sounding smaller than he has any right to.

"You should be," Q responds a few awful, heavy seconds later, because he is a little bit of a shit, after all, and because Bond deserves it, "Who on earth uses words like 'terminate' when they're trying to end a relationship, anyway? Who taught you such things? Mind you, I only ask so I can go and shoot them in the foot."

The, "You shouldn't have to be sorry," goes unsaid, and so does the, "I forgive you, anyway."

o.O.o.O.o

The very next day, Bond goes on yet another mission, and Q sends out an organization-wide memo dictating exactly what he will do to the next person who inquires about his love life in anything less than a professional capacity.

He's gratified when that actually terrifies people into backing the hell off.


"Let me crawl into you, make a home in your heart-"

It isn't something that Q realizes gradually, but rather in a sharp, bright, moment of painful clarity.

(Honestly though, he isn't sure if slowly figuring it out would have been all that much better.)

He wakes up one morning like he does every morning, with Bond wrapped around him, as though to protect him from any errant danger that might climb in through their window- and out of nowhere Q thinks, even if something were to happen- what, he thinks I could survive without him?

His brain has never been one to cut corners, to soften blows, so the answer it conjures up is, ultimately, devastating.

Yes.

The panic attack comes in two parts.

Part one involves Bond and his tendency self-destruction, something that he doesn't even bother to pretend about and part two-

Well, that involves Q not being able to live without the man, which implies the sort of emotional investment that Q had never thought himself capable of. Also, there is the implication of latent masochistic tendencies somewhere in there, because of course he would form a bond like that (no pun intended) with a man whose entire living consists of one near death incident after another.

Of course- because that sort of thing is just Q's calling in life.

What makes the whole experience that much worse, is how every little thing starts falling into place- the little things that Bond has always done that Q has always taken for granted- they all slot in like a piece of some giant cosmic joke of a puzzle.

Every time Bond has insisted on going into their flat first ("It's a game, one which you are not allowed to win. Because if you do, I will be forced to do something drastic."), every time he's been adamant about only eating at certain places ("Seriously, Q? You want to go to the new Thai place? What sort of proper Englishman enjoys Thai?") or about sitting closer to the door ("What are you glaring for? It's cooler here and my core temperature is higher than yours.")- every time he makes Q move from 'his side of the bed' which is quickly translating into 'the side that's closer to anything dangerous that might occur.'

Every time he's made sure that Q is comfortable, that Q is happy-

("What are you bitching about, now? I know you asked for Lemon, but Earl Grey is your favorite! What does it matter how far I had to travel to get it? Oh for Christ's sake, just drink the thrice damned tea!")

-and it hurts, in a way, because all this time Bond has been protecting Q without ever telling him, possibly without ever knowing himself, and now it's coming to bite Q in the arse.

Q isthe one who's stuck putting up with the backlash that comes part and parcel with being James bloody Bond's long-suffering boyfriend, who's not only stuck with said boyfriend's heart-breaking idiocy but also with less than pleasant realizations of his own.

It almost isn't fair that this has to happen now, when everything is moving along so nicely.

Or perhaps that should have been his first clue.

Sod it, Q decides after a while, it's too bloody early to deal with this bullshite- so he gently pushes Bond's arm off of him, making sure not to wake said man up in the process (even though the man probably wakes up anyway), and proceeds to stalk off to the kitchen -where there's a mug of tea with his moniker on it and a barstool that's perfect for brooding in.

He needs to think, even though there really isn't all that much to think about. After all, the whole thing revolves around one question-

Is he ready to expose himself like this? To put mire himself in Bond so damned thoroughly that he can't tell where Bond ends and Q begins?

Lord knows, he has the single best example of bad emotional decision making sleeping away upstairs; he knows, first hand, what that sort of devotion, the kind that has already taken seed in his soul, will do to a person when they're in the sort of field they're in.

He also knows, without a shadow of a doubt, what he would do if Bond were to ever be taken from him; he knows exactly the kind of carnage that he will wreak upon a world that could no longer claim James Bond as an inhabitant.

So, with that in mind and for the second time since he'd fallen in with James fucking Bond, he wonders- does he want to be in a relationship with this man?

Does he want to willingly put himself in a position that will likely only bring him ruin in the long run?

He desperately, desperately, wants to say no, wants to take the intellectual road and never look back because that's just who's always prided himself on being- someone who's calm, cool and most importantly, logical.

But then Bond comes down, rubbing sleep out of his face and letting his guard down in a way that he just doesn't around anyone else.

"Q?" he calls, drowsy eyes lighting up ever so slightly as they land on him, and Q, well, he's just lost- has to wonder if the decision had ever even been his to make.

"Come here," he says instead of pondering on such inevitabilities, sets aside his mug and holds his arms out for the man he calls his own, for better or worse- because as needy and as pathetic as it sounds, he needs the physical contact right now.

"What happened?" comes Bond's sleep rough voice, even as he obediently walks over and allows Q to pull him close.

"Nothing," Q says, burying his face in his lover's taut stomach, allowing himself to revel in Bond's strength, "nothing at all." Because, in the end, that's what his panicked thoughts amount to, really.

"Hm," Bond says, noncommittally, and Q knows that his boyfriend doesn't believe him, because he is nothing if not perceptive- but Q also knows the answers to his own questions, so really, he isn't lying at all.

He takes a little bit of comfort in that knowledge.

When all is said and done, it may take awhile for him to fully come to terms with his situation, but Q finds that he's more than willing to wait for things to settle, to wait before really working himself into some sort of fit.

And as to whether or not he wants to be with this beautiful man, this gorgeous man who will put up with Q's shite, and hold him close even though he's probably not very comfortable with physical proximity outside of sex- the wonderful man who will take the time out of his busy day to not only make Q some food but also to drop it off, just so that he knows that his lover has eaten atleast one meal a day-

-the same man who deserves to be loved so, so much that it would burn to do anything else-

This time, Q's heart chimes up along with his brain-

Yes.


"Let me memorize your every pore-enshrine your very core-"

If there's one thing that Q has learned about Bond in the course of their relationship, it's how to make him talk. More specifically, he's figured out exactly what to do when Bond is keeping something in and Q wants him to talk about it.

(Admittedly, it's a tad underhanded, because it's using the man's weakness for his own gains- but really, everyone benefits from a happy James Bond, so Q doesn't feel all that bad in the end.)

Which is why he finds himself in his boyfriend's lap on their first day off in God knows how long, his hole stretched tight around the man's cock and decidedly not moving.

"For the love of all things Holy," he pants into Bond's ear, half out of his mind with the need for orgasm but persisting in his endeavor, "Just tell me."

Bond simply grunts and strains to thrust up, even though he's thoroughly tied to the chair at all the right points so that he can't move an inch either which way.

"Really," Q says because it's been twenty bloody minutes of this and he would very much like to come now, "Really. We've been at this for how long and you're still going to try for that?"

He very much wants to just start with the whole sex bit, wants Bond to slam him against a wall and screw him until he's screaming-it's just that he wants the man to talk to him, more than he wants all that and this is the only way he knows how to make him.

Meanwhile, said boyfriend just sits there like a giant, stupid lug and refuses to tell him what's wrong- because he likes to pretend that he is stoic and has no pesky emotions, ugh, and would rather die than talk about them. Possibly literally.

"Oh, fuck me," Q groans out, letting his head fall forward onto the other man's shoulders.

"I was going to," Bond snarks, deigning to speak for the first time since the whole thing started, "Except, somehow, I find myself unable to because certain people have made it physically impossible."

"Well if you'd just tell me what's going on without me having to resort to these measures," Q fires back, eyes narrowed even as he squirms uncomfortably, "then we wouldn't be here, would we?"

Bond just groans. "Jesus Christ," he grits out, "Why the hell is this so important to you?"

- and he doesn't mean it the way it sounds, he really doesn't; but sometimes, the words that come out of James Bond's mouth make Q want to bash his own head into a wall, or maybe even just bash Bond's head into a wall- but then again, he's always afraid that what few brain cells that Bond dedicates to matters such as this will be irreparably lost and then where would they be?

So Q just bares his teeth right back, sorts through the outrage, and rasps out, "Because I am your boyfriend, you stupid arse."

"And," he groans because Jesus, Bond feels bloody huge in him and it feels amazing and he doesn't even know why he's doing this to himself anymore, "It may seem weird to your emotionally crippled self, but I care when you're upset. Don't really know why I bother, mind you, since you never seem to get it through your thick fucking skull. But there you have it."

He can barely breathe from wanting to just move and he's gagging to be fucked until he can barely walk- but the taken aback look on his boyfriend's face makes the ordeal almost worthwhile.

Almost.

Slowly and with the strain near visible on his face, Bond says, " So you're basically torturing the both of us because you want me to share my feelings with you. Is that right?"

And Q would take the opportunity to hit him because what the fuck does he think Q does this shit for? Fun? But it looks like the man is actually chewing through the concept, like he's actually thinking it through instead of just dismissing it like he usually does.

About damned time, really.

Unfortunately (or maybe not), when he goes to say as much, it comes out as a moan of surprise- because apparently, while he was thinking on how stupid Bond can be, the man had been cutting himself loose with-

"Is that, is that a paper clip?" he yelps out even as Bond surges upward, picking Q up in the process and beginning to walk them to their bed- because what even.

"I always keep one handy," Bond purrs out in response, "I find that they're highly useful."

It takes a minute for Q to respond, because he's too busy clinging on for dear life; he's too busy burying his face into Bond's thick shoulders and trying his very best not to whimper with each step that the man takes.

"Where the hell did you even hide that thing?" he mumbles after a while because seriously, the man has been naked since about an hour ago.

"In my left inner cheek," Bond says brightly before abruptly throwing Q down, "spat it out into my hand while you were busy wondering when your life had gone so irreparably sideways."

"Jesus fucking Christ," Q grunts out, and he can't even be bothered to keep the incredulous awe from his voice, "I think I just realized exactly what sort of man I'm dating."

"A little slow on the uptake, but I forgive you," Bond smugly returns, before covering Q's body with his own.

Beyond that point, Q's life is nothing but hanging on for dear life, being split apart and put back together at the hands of a man who'd captured his fucking heart just to give him an ulcer, Q is sure- and all he can do about it is scream, back arching as Bond pushes into him, both literally and not.

In return, he brands the man with fingernails at his back, through bruises on his lips, through cum and sweat on all that gorgeous, scarred skin- reclaims him for his own, to cherish, to keep safe and as unharmed as he can possibly make happen.

The last thing he does as he finally comes down, is to press a kiss to the only part of Bond that he can reach, right where his heart resides, where it's still beating a little too quickly to be considered normal- and then he's out, fading into the satisfied sleep of the well fucked.

o.O.o.O.o

"I love you, you know," Bond whispers the next morning, quiet and guilty even as he curls around Q and pulls him close, "I love you, God, so much."

Q is still too sleepy to be properly functioning, but he still understands the sentiment, because hadn't he been there himself, just a few short weeks ago? He wants to pull the man close, maybe kiss his forehead, and tell him that everything will be ok- wants to tell him that he has nothing to worry about because everything is alright.

He doesn't, because he doesn't want to lie.

Romance aside, true, honest love is a liability in a profession like theirs- because there will always be some bastard out there who will use it as a weapon and there really isn't much that can be done about that.

Q knows that Bond knows that better than anyone else, and he knows empty platitudes would just be insulting.

So he doesn't offer any.

He does, however, pull the other man's face closer to his own and plant a kiss on his forehead-does his absolute best to smooth away the worried, pinched look from that precious, beloved face- and he looks James Bond in the eye and says, very seriously-

"Really. That's what you woke me up for?"

In reality, he wants to say something more meaningful, wants to pull the man close and crawl into his skin until he's made himself a proper home. But, he thinks as he watches Bond slowly but surely relax, curling into his shoulder with a soft chuckle- that can wait until the other man is more mentally prepared for it.

Besides, he's pretty sure that Bond understands, that he hears it even without anything being said- better still, Q plans on spending the next few years making sure that every action, every word, touch, kiss- says one thing, loud and clear:

I love you, too.

Fifty or so years should be enough time to make his point, he figures, before moving his estimation upwards a little- because he's in love with an emotionally stunted moron and such things have to be accounted for, now.


I actually don't know what I'm doing, anymore.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed. :) Also, I'm thinking of making this into a series. I don't know. But I figured that maybe if you guys can give me scenarios, I can cluster them into pockets of 4 and create more of these. What do you think? R and R, please!