Not sure where this is going. I'm not fully a 00Q fan(I'm reading it though so :/ )...I just think Bond seriously needs a friend and Q would do well for that since there is NOBODY ELSE LEFT.
Cross posted from AO3
It had always been his job to watch out for his Double O. There were no guidelines for how of course, so he tended to make his own.
He always had a tracker on the agent but sometimes a cluster of numbers on a computer and a location weren't enough. He needed to assess the situation with his eyes. Sometimes he really didn't need to but he did anyway. Call it curiosity. Of course he knew that he was probably not unlike the stereotype of Big Brother at this point but he comforted himself with the knowledge that his motives were less sinister. And thoughts like that didn't stop him the next time his agent was in over his head.
007 probably never thought about who was lending him a helping hand as he raced through his adventures. He probably never noticed during his car chases that all the lights turned green for him. He probably didn't notice when that automatic door had to stay open for that one extra second, it did. Q's job was to watch out for his 00 and he was the best Quartermaster around for a reason.
He had overseen four 00's in the past. Of course his influence couldn't save them from drowning, or bullets, or poison(Although Q was thinking of having a sensor implanted in each of them with antidotes for the regular poisons and… well…that was still in development). He knew that each agent he had lost had been through no fault of his own. Computer's can't stop bullets or drain water from lungs(Although he was working on an algorithm). So he wasn't guilty. He was not.
One thing he knew for sure was that every 00 came with baggage. One does not come into this kind of employment because their two living parents and happy siblings want them to get a job. M had told him this job was for the damaged and dysfunctional. A lot of sad stories. A lot of orphans.
It's not that Bond was anymore damaged or any worse at hiding it. But after M he could see the way the man walked around MI6. He hid it well, but it was so clearly there. Open and bleeding.
One of his 00's had actually killed himself after a job was done. Trust a 00 to finish the mission first. They always knew their duty.
It was the first day after Bond had gotten back. After the funeral where he stood there, lost amongst the crowd. Q had been there too. He hadn't known her well or for very long and that was his loss. They stood amongst all the bodies, the living and the dead, and watched the box with the flag laid over it as it was lowered into the ground. All the faces stared at the box but Q found his eyes wandering, studying and cataloguing. It was easier than remembering the woman who seemed much larger than the box that now contained her.
As his eyes wandered they found another set of eyes, blue and icy. Bond was not staring at the box either, but rather staring straight ahead; the direct gaze of an agent. Their eyes met and held for a moment. Maybe it was seeing the footage or maybe it was the utter absence of emotion. Maybe it was way he held himself, ramrod straight with hands fisted tight. Q knew something was wrong.
Q had been there in his own way. Heat signatures, tracking satellites. Once the house started burning they weren't that hard to find. And then by some odd stroke of luck it seemed that a few years back a security camera was installed in that church to catch looters.
Q followed Bond's progress as best as he could. Meanwhile making sure this mission remained covert. If Silva caught the slightest whiff of MI6 backup waiting in the wings the whole plan would backfire catastrophically.
It was times like this that Q almost wished he could be right there in the field. Making sure his gadgets worked and seeing all the things his cameras couldn't. In a place like Skyfall he felt blind. Numbers gave him data but they did not show the situation.
That camera might have been a blessing but Q didn't believe in that kind of thing. If it was a blessing it was a bloody bad one.
He saw the whole thing play out in black and white through a veil of grain. He saw that tiny frail hand come away dark. He saw M collapse in Bond's arms. He saw Bond holding her with shaking shoulders as he leaned down and kissed her on the forehead. He saw the other man come and rest a hand on Bond's shoulder before leaving the church. And he saw Bond sit there and hold her for a long time before he laid her on the ground and walked away.
Of course the moment Q saw that hand, dark with blood, he was calling for a med evac and advising caution. Silva was a pixellated dark spot that didn't move from the floor but he had learned caution was best. Silva had taught him that.
Bond walked to the door of the church and opened it letting in the medical evac team. Q already had his headset on and these men all wore their own mikes He could hear them talking to each other ('all clear' 'man down' etc…)and he could hear Bond faintly in the background
"You're too late."
He could see that one of the men was trying to examine Bond but he was shaking the man off. Q pressed a few buttons and then spoke into his own microphone.
"Excuse me this is straight in from Q branch, would you be so kind as to give your headset to the agent in front of you?" The man on the screen seemed to freeze for a moment before he took the headset off and handed it to the agent. Q wished he could improve the video quality to better assess the situation. His agents face was a mess of pixels.
"007 this is your Quartermaster speaking, now submit to a physical examination otherwise I will order them to drug you." It was so hard to read the man's reaction but Q could swear that he turned and looked right at the security camera. He didn't bother to remove the headset though so Q sat and listened to Bond's unusual silence. The man favored his sarcasm but except for a comment about being 'bloody freezing' he didn't say a word. He just sat there slightly hunched over as the doctor pushed and poked and shined a flashlight in his eyes. Then the examiner took the headset back.
"In case you need to know sir, aside from a lot of scrapes and bruises and some mild hypothermia the agent is fine. However we have a man down."
Of course they didn't yet realize it was M. These people probably didn't even know what M looked like.
There was something he noticed then. A hunch in the shoulders, that stiff straight posture. He saw it again at the funeral. He knew his agent was not 'alright'