Chapter 8: Amazing
M stares at the screens in Q Branch where they can all see Bond running from a site going up in flames, the angles alternating between CCTV and satellite images, and he is rapidly moving on from incredulity to amusement. Still…
"Q? What was that?" He has to be sure, doesn't he?
Beside him, Eve stands with a hand over her mouth and mirth in her eyes, while Tanner turns away and clears his throat, trying to keep his attention on the readings of the satellite on one of the smaller screens.
Q smirks at the main screens and follows Bond's movements with the cameras obeying the orders coming from the tips of his fingers.
Eve takes the hand off her mouth. "It appears to have been an exploding pen, sir."
Once Bond is in the car and racing off the site, Q turns to face M.
"It's a prototype. Bond is trial testing it." His lip twitches. "Successfully it would seem."
M raises an eyebrow. "Should I expect to see more of them in active use?"
"I believe that it is best to decide on a case-to-case basis, depending on expected mission parameters." He tilts his head. "I would also suggest that agents be issued with one if the mission is expected to last longer than average and its progression is particularly hard to predict. Or…" he raises his voice a bit, "… if the agent in question tends to regularly stray from the predicted course of action."
"I heard that," comes Bond's voice through the speakers.
"Good," Q answers. "You were meant to."
"Such tender care, Quartermaster."
Q hopes to god he's not blushing. If he is, Bond will pay for it. Just to make sure, he faces the screens, again.
"Should you really be teasing the man handling your explosives, 007?"
"I'll be forgiven for the teasing the moment I return all my equipment undamaged..." Bond replies, sounding unworried.
Q huffs. "I'll believe that when I see it." He crosses his arms. "Focus on your driving. I'll be here when you need me." With that, he closes the microphone and mutes the speakers, only keeping the sounds of Bond's car and breathing in his ear piece.
He faces one of his techs on the side. "Is there a reliable reading of the explosion, by now?"
"Yes, sir. We should have the analysis of the data within the next two or three hours and can start with the adjustments for the next batch..." her voice rises at the end of the sentence and she peeks at M who grins slowly.
M raises an eyebrow at Q. "Did you use that mission to have me appraise your pet project?"
Q just shrugs, unapologetically. "I prefer to kill two birds with one stone whenever possible. I dislike wasting time."
"I assume you've cleared it with accounting."
"Of course, sir."
M nods. "Carry on." With that, he leaves with Tanner in tow (who has seen the inquisitive expression on Eve's face and would rather not hear something he is better off just knowing but not hearing in detail).
Eve, however, remains and steps closer. "Lunch?"
Q hesitates, checks his watch and realises that he doesn't have much of an excuse this well into the afternoon. "Yes, alright."
Eve smirks at him. "You can take the voice in your ear and your laptop. We're not even leaving the building."
Q gave her a look. "I wouldn't have agreed, otherwise."
Her smirk remains firmly (and knowingly) in place, and she turns halfway to sign him to follow her. He does.
"So," Eve says, decisively between two bites of (late) lunch. "How's it been going?"
Q sighs, demonstratively chewing and swallowing slowly before he answers. "I should have known your invitation to lunch wasn't entirely altruistic." He's mostly teasing. Of course he's known that, sooner or later, he'd have to talk to someone, and… well… the prospect isn't unwelcome, either.
"You owe me heart-warming details."
"Seriously, though…" she pauses and her teasing expression softens. "I really didn't think it was possible, anymore. Not for him."
Q's fork freezes on the way to his mouth, and he puts it down again, suddenly way too focused on breathing.
"I mean, he's Bond, right?" She grins a bit. The name alone is holding so many connotations that Q would understand. "He can charm the socks, underwear and weapon off anyone before they even know what's happening, but… you've read his file…" She releases her breath once she realises that she doesn't have the words to continue. She just looks at Q.
Q resolutely continues eating.
"You don't have to tell me more about what is going on between you two. Some of it is clear enough just by looking at you." Her lip twitches. "But I'm curious… Did you have any idea that it was a possibility, going in?" She frowns a bit. Clearly, that is something she's thought about, having taken that one step herself (and obviously not seeing anything beyond that one 'close shave').
"I went in with the same objective as you," he said, raising his eyebrows at her.
Eve silently wonders about what had to have been so glaringly different, since they both went in with nothing but a good tumble in mind, and is about to voice that thought when it answers itself. She sighs and smiles, ruefully. "And he already trusted you."
Q visibly startles and openly stares at her. Apparently, that hasn't occurred to him…
"Can't come as that much of a surprise, can it?" She smiles, somewhat curiously. "He would not be with someone he doesn't trust, not for this long, however… serious it is. It's a miracle he let you as close as he has."
Not that she's entirely certain how close Bond and Q's connection is, but any connection that goes beyond that of a one-night-stand on a mission is closer than she thought Bond capable, anymore. If they were any other two people, the same signals they send out would mean nothing short of being head over heels in love. But since they are who they are, both of them very much lethal with a deeply ingrained distrust…
Q shakes himself, still appearing flustered. "No, of course not. And he can. Trust me, that is. Obviously."
Eve lets them both turn that over in their heads and returns to her food. It's that immediate and unwavering trust between Bond and Q that's surprising, not whatever… tender feelings they may have built on it.
Eventually, she remarks, "I didn't really know what to make of the rumours once they…" she looks up from beneath her lashes, smirking, "… became more substantiated."
Q rolls his eyes. "And when was that?"
Q snorts. "We'd been shagging for months before that." For some reason, that miscalculation makes him feel more secure. Like he has the upper hand.
Eve is undeterred. "You know what made it more substantiated?"
Q shrugs, unconcerned. "That he took me on a two week holiday…?" he repeats the fact she's already stated.
"That certainly helped," she agrees, but the underlying tone of her voice makes Q's hackles rise. (Perhaps not quite the upper hand, then.) "But it was the mission report, actually."
Q blinks. "The report? Why? It all went by the book."
Eve nods. "Everything went by the book, you did everything right, nothing went wrong… and yet his report protested quite clearly at the notion that there ever be another mission with a, quote, 'invaluable department head in the field', unquote."
Q swallows a mouthful of pasta. "I am more valuable in the lab."
Eve smirks and points her fork at him. "And now you add the holiday to your equation."
Q can't hold back the smile that breaks free. He knows all that. He knows he's important on a professional and a personal level. That's nothing truly new; just new enough to send tiny tingles of happiness through him.
She studies him quietly for a moment. "If I hadn't seen him react in much the same way..." She sighs and shakes her head.
"I would have thought this whole thing to be an extraordinarily bad idea. Of course..." she quickly adds, "... it might still turn out to be just that, but..." She trails off, again.
Q puts down his fork. "Could you perhaps finish a sentence, just once?"
Eve holds up both her hands, as if visually denying any responsibility. "Seeing you two makes me happy, and I'm cautiously optimistic, is what I'm trying to say."
Q blinks. "Thank you. I guess."
"I like both of you, and I'm wishing you all the best."
Q feels like there is something missing. "But?"
Eve smirks. "But if you ever need me to shoot him a little, just let me know."
Q bursts out laughing. "I'll do that."
"So..." she sips her water. "You owe me juicy details."
"If memory serves, I never actually said that you would get any."
She props her elbows on the table, glass in her hands. "But you're dying to talk to someone, aren't you?"
His eyes glint. "Perhaps." She's right, of course. Q is introverted enough, and keeping secrets comes as easily to him as breathing, but he's always had a friend in Eve, and ever since he's come to terms with what his relationship with James turned out to be, he's been craving a patient ear. Someone who knows of the potential gravity of their situation but doesn't dwell on it; someone who knows the angles of Q and Bond and their respective jobs.
Someone like Eve.
She raises her eyebrows, well aware that she's won already. "Just how it started," she nudges him, verbally. "Go on, my evasive little boffin."
Q playfully clears his throat. "There may or may not have been an incident where neither Bond nor I turned off our communicators when he got...busy." The tone of his voice makes the meaning behind 'busy' quite clear, not that Eve needed the clarification.
Eve stares at him, wide-eyed and with a huge grin. "You cheeky fucker," she breathes out, astonished. "You're as bad as he is!"
"He made some insinuations at the time, and – despite my numerous reservations – I felt that he should deliver once he's back."
"And he did?" Eve is still grinning.
"I do hope that question was rhetorical."
Eve laughs, delighted.
They chat for another half hour before Q's hand suddenly darts to his ear, "Here, James," and their lunch break is officially over. (Though not before they agree on their next get-together.)
Eve even gives into the urge to hug Q. "You two take care of yourselves, okay?"
"Of course." Q returns the hug, briefly.
Eve steps back, frowning playfully. "Look at that. You're making me all mushy."
Q smirks. "Don't worry. I know you're badass, after all." He tilts his head to the side. "Shut up, James."
Eve straightens and turns to go. "Remember; call me when he needs shooting at," she says loudly enough that Q's ear piece would carry the words to the annoyingly lovable dick of an agent at the other end.
Before finally meeting Bond, Eve had always been wondering about the (in)famous 007. Had been wondering why everyone seemed to have a soft spot for the man, despite his ruthlessness, his complete disregard of rules and disrespect for people and equipment. M (both of them, by now) would let him get away with more things than appeared sensible; Q branch would get frustrated with him but still be charmed by Bond's passionate usage of weapons (however short-lived that usage usually turned out to be); other field agents after a short period of knowing him would waver between grudging respect, amusement and the urge to kick his insufferable arse.
She had wondered about that and had thought it mainly exaggeration, only to be charmed as much as everyone else when the time had come.
But despite Bond's apparent inescapability, his reaching out with his hand of his own free will and then having it actually be taken a hold of has to be the most surprising thing Eve Moneypenny has learned about him.
Eve returns to Q branch later that day – much later – and finds it mostly empty. Q is still there, of course (as is one of his technicians, who is quietly typing in a corner), sitting in his chair with his legs stretched out in front of him.
She remains standing in the door for a long moment, watching Q quietly conversing with his own, personal agent, both of them clearly off the clock, as it were. She can't hear Bond's voice, and Q's is mostly just murmurs and soft laughs, his expression as warm and mellow as his voice.
When the technician notices her standing there, Eve steps towards Q with the forms in her hand.
Q looks up when she approaches, his expression unchanging and open.
Eve returns the smile and puts the request forms on his desk, tapping them with a finger.
Q pulls a face at the sight of them, but he's too relaxed to really be bothered, and the smile quickly returns. 'Tomorrow,' he mouths.
Eve huffs a silent laugh and waves a hand in dismissal. 'Fine.'
He wiggles his fingers at her, waving her goodbye when she leaves, and then returns to his conversation.
She grins at the "Eve just brought some request forms. They're probably your fault…" she can hear behind her, briefly glances at the technician who seems unaffected by both the conversation his boss is having and her presence, and then she leaves the night owls to their thing.
Two weeks later, Q slowly wakes in his bed (after finally having been allowed to go home, again) from a kissing dream into a wake one.
"Good morning," James murmurs against Q's lips.
"Is it?" Q is still only half awake and tilts his head to melt into another kiss.
Q answers in a wordless hum that moves from the depths of his chest, trickles along his tongue and is being drunk by James to the last drop. Lazy morning and James. Warm, naked James. Q's hands seek out the firm skin of their own volition in his still dream-like state.
James cradles Q close and moves over him just enough so that the weight of his body adds to the deep kiss. He gives Q's upper lip a nip. "You're affectionate this morning," he says, barely audibly and interrupted by another nip.
Q is slowly but surely waking up and gently bites James' lip, making him grin.
"I have reason to be."
"Mh," Q confirms with another hum into a kiss. "You actually brought back all of my equipment, unless you managed to lose something on the way back from Burma after your mission."
James licks over Q's lips and kisses him again. "Brought you back all of it," he confirms and wanders to lick and nip over Q's jaw and then to the neck. "I believe I've earned the privilege to be especially nice to you…"
Q moans at a deliciously sharp bite at the base of his neck, his hands hold James close – one on his head, the other cradling the back of his neck – and he arches into the ministrations of that stupidly talented mouth.
"You already have me," he manages to say. "You don't have to earn any privileges."
One of James' hands come up to cup Q's jaw and cheek, his thumb gently running over the stubbly skin, his touches saying what really no longer needed words. When he latches onto a nipple and bites and suckles, Q's breath hitches and he whimpers. James gives it a parting lick.
"Did M like the performance of the pen?"
He moves on to the other nipple.
Q breathes deeply and laughs at the words and the pleasure running through him. "Oh, yes. We've expanded the production." He gasps. "Did some variations. Improvements. Different…ah… applications."
James kisses downwards over Q's firm stomach, murmuring between kisses. "You… absolutely glorious… human being."
Q huffed a laugh, his stomach jumping under James' kisses. "Oh, I know." He grins widely, his hands in James' hair. "I'm the best boyfriend ever. Making you exploding pens. And lock picking ones, by the way… or with acid for… particularly, uhm, resistant locks…"
James grins and nudges Q's cock with his nose, before kissing it lightly, nuzzling it, playfully. "Bloody amazing, you are." He licks a broad stripe up Q's rapidly hardening cock.
"And one even with narcotics… as… uh… to inject…" He stops, licks his lips and closes his eyes, breathing out.
James briefly sucks at the tip. "Something stronger perhaps? Maybe poison?"
Q grins, unseen. "Stop talking about poison while you're blowing me."
James says nothing else, just holds the base of Q's cock and sucks it in as far as it will go without him choking on it (he can take it deep, but he still hasn't quite mastered taking it all the way – then again, there is time, and he is tenacious).
It's interesting, though; he's never been a particular fan of sucking cock, but he can't seem to get enough of this one, Q's mewling little sounds of pleasure adding to the feeling of the hard, heavy and silky soft prick to wrap his tongue around.
Q doesn't talk anymore, at this point. His chest rises and falls, rapidly, and with every exhale, there is a soft whine or whimper. The grip of his hands in James' hair becomes more urgent.
When, finally, a tiny, desperate, "Oh," manages to escape, James lets off the cock, licking down to Q's balls, making him sob, once.
James continues his ministration, never stopping for a second. He sucks one of the balls into his mouth and then the other one, rolling it on his tongue, his fingers dipping behind and teasing the twitching ring of muscles, before he spreads the cheeks with both hands, letting his tongue take over licking and laving and covering the tight hole in his spit.
He loves Q like this. Just out of sleep, relaxed, pliant, with none of the preoccupation his mind keeps him busy with.
He fucks into him with his tongue that is eventually joined by fingers.
One of Q's legs falls open completely, while the other hooks over James' shoulder.
"Lube?" James asks, biting into the wet flesh he's murmuring into.
Q just whimper-moans and attempts to pull James closer again.
James chuckles and adds a third finger to appease his lover. "Come on, Q. I've been thinking about fucking you all the way home…"
"Could probably just…hnnggn" he rolls up his hips and pushes against the intruding fingers. "Could just do it…"
The bites soften into kisses. "I'm not fucking you without lube."
Q whimpers again.
"Lube, Q, now."
Q's arm flails sideways more than anything, trying to reach the bedside drawer, which he finally does. The movement has cleared his head somewhat, and he throws the bottle in James' general direction.
James smirks at him from between his legs and unscrews the top, dribbling some of the liquid onto his fingers.
"We could try it, sometime, though…" Q remarks and then lets his head fall onto the pillow, again, throwing his arm over his face when James slides his three fingers back inside, much deeper than before and adds a fourth after only a second or two.
James kisses the inside of Q's thigh. "Some other time. One when I'm not quite as desperate to fuck you."
"Why don't you just do it, then?"
James chuckles, and since he doesn't really have a reason to not do just that, he pulls out his fingers, slicks his cock with lube and moves up to cover Q's writhing body.
Q startles at James' immediate compliance, wraps his arms around him and laughs and moans through James pushing inside the very moment he is in position.
"I fucking love you!"
That is another reason for James to like Q not quite awake enough to reach his full mental capacity…
He dives for a deep kiss, before he grins, breathing roughly against Q's lips and starts to thrust, leisurely, in spite of the demands of his body.
"You know what I want to do afterwards, though?" Q manages to say somewhat casually, the urgency only speaking from his undulating and trembling body.
"And what's that?"
"Really missed your cock…" He squeezes his arsehole, making James' rhythm stutter and the man bite his lips in retaliation. "Want you to feed it to me, later."
James' thrusts sharpen and speed up, seemingly with a mind of their own. "Yeah?"
Q's eyes are dark and intent. "Want you to sit me up against the headboard and fuck my mouth."
Q reaches between their bodies to jerk himself. He's so close, already, and with the right words, James won't be far behind, his thrice-cursed self-control be damned.
"You can come down my throat…" He does like that. "Or just shoot on my face." James growls into his neck, so Q just grins and continues. "Want that. Want to see you come."
"Fucking hell, Q!"
"Need you. Need you to come all over me. Fuck me!"
"Goddamn fucking shit!" James swears with the next three thrusts, filling Q with his come, just as the little bastard laughs all through his own orgasm that he's squeezing out of his cock.
If Q hadn't been riding a chemical wave of orgasm, he probably would have been embarrassed at the continued giggles that escape from his chest in between the rapid breathing.
Eventually, James answers the laughter. "You little shit. You'd better deliver, later."
Q grins, licks James' lips and kisses him. "I have every intention at my disposal to do just that," he promises with an intense look in his eyes that makes James' cock twitch despite just having screwed the brains out of his fuckable minx.
James just stares at him, incredulously. "Amazing," is all he says, as if he can't believe that whatever deity might or might not be out there has seen fit to bestow this gorgeous human being upon him.
Q's expression softens, and he pulls James into a slow and deep kiss. He only breaks it when James' cock slips out of him and pulls a face at the come he can feel trickle out in its wake.
James presses another kiss on Q's lips, apologetically. Then he remembers something.
"Were you serious about your… pen collection?"
Q licks his lips (his own, for a change) and clears his throat. "We were experimenting a bit. So, yes, I was serious, though it might not just be pens in the future."
James grins wolfishly at him.
Q rolls his eyes but can't help returning the grin.
"I thought you… 'don't really go in for that, anymore'?" James wants to know.
Q blinks a few times and licks his lips, again. "My wires reach far, but… perhaps not quite far enough, on occasion." He offers James a meaningful look.
James slowly shakes his head (this time his expression shows more amazement than incredulity). It says a lot about their working relationship that Q can admit to him personally that one or two more hands-on approaches in the field might be necessary on top of Q branch's very own web-elves.
It also says a lot that James knows that…
"… They reach further than I ever thought possible," he completes the thought. A concession.
Q smiles. "Just making sure that your lot is well-equipped for the gaps in my net."
"Amazing," is all James can say about his lover.
Q's smile widens. "Yes, we are."
Notes: That's it from this series :) Thank you so much for joining me on the ride!
Please leave a little comment on your way out :)