"You want me to do what with him?"
"To field train him." At 007's incredulous look, the new M sighs and leans back in his chair, his long fingers creating a steeple, elbows propped on the desk in front of him. "Oh, don't look at me like that. You act as if it's impossible."
"Isn't it?" Bond deadpans in all sincerity.
He glances over at Q who is seated next to him in a dark, overstuffed chair that threatens to swallow him whole. He hasn't said a world since this ridiculous meeting began, but he notices the younger man's expression has changed in the form of his eyes narrowing into thin, murderous slits. His gaze is focused straight ahead, staring attentively at the large painting that hangs on the wall behind M.
Bond thinks that Q is probably imagining the mural falling on top of M's head.
Bond is rather imagining the same thing.
"In the event that something should happen to him, or he finds himself in a comprising situation, he needs to know how to handle himself. He needs—"
Q finally speaks up at last, interrupting M with a clearing of his throat as he adjusts his glasses. "I hardly think that'll be necessary." The corner of his mouth upturns a bit, perhaps a bit too arrogantly. "I'm not completely incapable of defending myself if the situation were to present—"
"Its safety protocol," M finishes for him. He would have shrugged his shoulders had the sling over his left arm not prevented him from doing so. "You have to go through the training. I don't know what else to tell you."
Q looks down and presses his lips in a thin line.
"And why do I have to be the one who trains him?" he inquires, leaning forward a bit. "I don't exactly have a lot of free time on my hands."
"Oh, you will. I've passed your assignments along to other agents. In fact, I think you'll soon realize you have all the time in the world." M smiles lightly.
Bond scratches the back of his neck, a force of habit when he feels flustered. "This is absurd," he says, exasperated. "I mean, look at him. He's so…" Bond looks over to Q and Q looks over at him, raising his brows expectantly as if daring Bond to insult him. Bond frowns. "Skinny," he finishes.
When M bows his head to sigh, Q mouths to Bond, "Skinny? Really?" as if he is terribly unimpressed.
"I'm giving you a month. In five weeks when your time is up, we'll run some tests and evaluate his progress. Any questions?"
"An entire month. Are you sure that's going to be enough time?" Bond quips. The morning sunlight pouring in from the windows adjacent him is suddenly entirely too bright and it's giving him a headache. It's never this bloody sunny in London, he thinks.
He desperately wants a drink.
"I can make it three, if you prefer," M replies.
Bond gets up from his chair, buttons his suit with one hand. "One will do."
When he stops in the doorway to find Q still seated, he sighs. "Are you coming?" he asks, not bothering to hide the irritation in his voice.
Q gets up without a word and follows him down the corridor.
"Do you work out?" Bond asks once they've left M's office. "Well, that was a stupid question," Bond considers before Q has a chance to answer. "Clearly you don't. I mean have you ever worked out. In your life."
Q knows he should feel insulted, or offended, but in all truthfulness he isn't. It's the same jibes he was taunted with in grade school, and he learned to deal with them long ago so he doesn't have to now. He can't help it if his talents are more inclined towards his brainpower than his physical prowess.
"If running through a line of classmates while being assaulted with rubber balls count, then I suppose I have."
"You mean dodge ball."
They're shuffling up a flight of stairs now, the lights are dimmer.
"Secondary school P.E. doesn't count."
Bond opens a door and Q follows him into a dark room that overlooks the training facilities from the second floor; they are hidden by a two-way mirror. There's a new recruit training below them, shooting a Smith & Wesson M&P22 Rimfire pistol with muffs over his ears to lessen the sound. Q recognizes the model because he's dissembled one before and hundreds of others like it.
All on his laptop, of course.
Bond walks over to the table in the center of the room and pulls out a blank pad and pen from the desk. Q stands by the two-way mirror, half watching the shooting below—which is entirely muted due to the room being soundproof—and half watching Bond as he scribbles away.
"What do you eat?" Bond asks without looking up.
Now Q turns fully to face him. "Beg pardon?"
"Eat." His pen pauses and he looks up. "You do eat, don't you?"
"Eat." Q seems to think for a minute. What in bloody hell is he going on about? "Of course I eat, but I don't see how that's relevant to—"
"I'm going to put you on a diet. You'll follow it religiously." Bond's tone leaves no room for debate.
"Is it a habit of yours," 007 suddenly inquires, looking up from the notepad with obvious annoyance, "to mimic absolutely anything and everything I say?"
Q clears his throat, clasps his hands behind his back. "In the morning I have tea, sometimes followed by toast with jam."
"And for dinner?"
Bond has resumed writing.
"If I'm feeling particularly hungry, I happen to be very fond of Chinese."
"Takeout, you mean."
"That's going to stop. Starting today." After a moment of silence, he rips off the sheet of paper and stands to hand it to Q.
The younger man looks over it quizzically, eyes widening a fraction.
"It's a daily calorie intake you should meet, as well as menu of foods you should be eating throughout the day."
Q is unimpressed and meets Bond heavy stare with one of his own. "You do realize this is more food than I consume in a month."
"I'm aware of that."
Q doesn't want to do this.
Bond has turned his attention to the shooting range, watching the newest recruit with a critical eye, while Q simply stands there, fighting the urge to crumple the paper in his hands and discard it in the nearest trash receptacle. This is utter bollocks he thinks. James Bond, he then corrects himself, is utter bollocks. This isn't what he signed up for. Not at all. He feels safe behind his laptop and his screens—he can do most anything from there, flip the English monarchy on its side and then right it again in a matter of minutes—but this is far beyond his comfort zone.
Without another word, Bond turns to exit. "Be here at five AM. No later," he says over his shoulder.
If Q is surprised at the premature hour Bond has requested, he doesn't show it, and instead adjusts his glasses as he watches Bond leave.
Just as 007 is about to open the door, he turns to face Q once more.
"And for God sakes," the agent says, hand ready to push open the door, "don't show up in one of those bloody cardigans."
Author's Notes: Hello, hello, hello! Thank you all for taking the time to read this! This is my very first Skyfall fic, so I hope it isn't too terrible. This first chapter is pretty light at the moment, and fairly dialogue heavy as well, but as the story progresses, I promise it's going to get very dark, and may venture into M-rated territory if I feel is necessary. If there are any inaccuracies, or if you'd simply like to see the story continued, please feel free to let me know. Comments and reviews are always appreciated!