AN: This is just a quick little Bond/Q fic inspired by their conversation in Skyfall. I don't own anything. Please r&r.
It wasn't supposed to be this way, James thought as the force of his fist colliding with the cheek of one of Q's assailants splintered the bone underneath. He jerked his arm back, bringing his strongly pointed elbow into the solar plexus of the other thug; because they obviously were thugs and not highly trained kidnappers as James had originally thought when he saw them with Q in the train station.
It was supposed to be a simple transfer of equipment in Gare de Lyon, one of the Euro Rail stations in Paris. He was supposed to be riding south to the Languedoc-Roussillon region where his target was vacationing now that he had received the new merchandise from Q, a lovely new Walther PPK and a watch that would surely prove amusing, not smashing a man's head open against a porcelain urinal that had needed a good scrub before the addition of brain matter.
The other assailant screamed at the sight of his friend and turned towards the bathroom door, his face already swelling because of his broken cheekbone. James grabbed him easily before he could open the door, one arm tight around his throat while the other delivered a swift punch to the man's kidney. They sank to the floor together, James never letting up on the pressure around the man's throat until all movement ceased and his eyes glazed over.
He had watched Q, after the younger man had left him, as he headed away from the trains towards the exit. James assumed that he would be taking a cab back to Gare du Nord station for his return trip to London. There was something about how unconcerned the man was that bothered James on a deep level. He hardly even looked where he was going; his eyes had been affixed to the smart phone in his hands. It was as if Q didn't understand that this was a dangerous world and they were both part of a very dangerous business. The young man could easily be mistaken for any other glassy-eyed tourist or backpacking student. He screamed 'easy target'. It wasn't even a surprise, really, when passing by a corridor on his right, a pair of men in heavy coats approached him and herded him quickly out of sight.
James was after them immediately. Q was a valuable asset to MI6 and it wouldn't be the first time in the agency's illustrious history that the Quartermaster had been kidnapped or nearly as this case would be. While inexperienced in the agency, James was sure that the newly appointed Q was full of pertinent information and useful skills that would make him a prize catch for any terrorist group.
He reached the corridor just in time to see a far door closing. The new Walther was in its holster and he planned to keep it that way if possible. It wouldn't do to shoot up a Parisian toilet.
Upon pushing abruptly into the small room James immediately took in the two heavyset men that had cornered Q up against the far wall. The younger man was pale, disheveled, and obviously frightened. James wondered briefly why they even allowed the kid to leave headquarters without the ability to defend himself. He would have to bring it up with someone and some point.
The assailants did not say anything; they just pointed at the latest addition and laughed.
That was, of course, when all hell broke loose.
With both attackers dead he took another moment to assess Q. The young man was against the far wall of the bathroom, his touristy rucksack still clutched in his hands, a bruise was blooming on one cheek where he had been roughed up a bit. His glasses were askew and hanging from one ear.
James grasped one man under the arms and dragged his body into a stall, then added the other. He took a moment to rummage through their pockets before closing the door on them. He washed his hands carefully in the sink, not wincing at the sting of soap and cold water on the broken skin along his knuckles.
Q had not moved. He had also not fixed his glasses.
"They appear to have been muggers." James began to dry his hands, "Perhaps, the next time you travel you should try and not look like a target."
"M-muggers?" Q repeated.
James nodded, "They have a few wallets and passports on them as well as various currencies. They both have ID with local addresses. It would seem that you made the mistake of looking like an easy mark. And they made the mistake of going for it."
Q pulled his glasses loose with a trembling hand. His brown hair fell over his face as he looked anywhere that wasn't blood, bodies, or Bond. "So, they weren't anyone important, and you just killed them."
He let out a long exhale.
James sighed, "It's a bit different, when you're not at home in your pajamas, isn't it?"
Q flinched visibly at James' not-in-any-way-subtle reminder of their very first conversation. "W-what do we do now?"
Throwing away the used paper towel, James approached Q, slowing down as the younger man tensed. But James simply reached and took his glasses out of his shaking hands. He opened them and set them firmly, but gently, back in place. "You go back to London and I head south."
James laughed, he couldn't explain why; he was standing in a dirty bathroom in Paris with the bodies of men that he had recently killed and a MI6 agent that should never be allowed outside of his lab let alone outside of London on his own. But something about the situation struck him as funny.
"Yes," He replied, "That's it."