Title: Bond Night Is Go
Author: sorion_writes on DW; sorion on LJ/AO3/FFnet, Tumblr
Fandoms: Skyfall (James Bond), BBC Sherlock
Pairing: 00Q (Bond/Quartermaster) established; probably John/Sherlock, later
Genre: canon typical violence, romance, established relationship, character study, case solving (there will probably be sex, later)
Summary: "Sherlock hasn't reported back in a while, and I haven't been able to contact him. This should be rectified, immediately, since we have new information on his last target and reason to believe that the target might have become the hunter, himself. And my brother, for his many talents, is not an assassin."
AN: Can be seen as a sequel to Mister Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, but it works as a stand-alone. Established 00Q relationship.
Bond Night Is Go
Bond recognises the man sitting in front of M's desk immediately, despite never having seen him and there not being any family resemblance.
As he closes the door, M greets him with, "Ah, 007," Bond responds with a nod and, "Sir," while M's guest turns his head and stands to greet him.
No, definitely no family resemblance at first glance, Bond decides. But it's not the physical appearance that makes him so certain about the man's identity. It's the power his stance and expression are practically oozing. Not the public power of a politician. No, no. Real power.
Bond approaches the man and holds out his hand. "Mister Holmes."
Holmes gives him an approving half-smile, moves his umbrella from his right hand to his left and shakes Bond's. "Mycroft, please," Holmes says, his voice sounding like the slickest silk possible to hide the knives behind it. "It is, after all, high time we finally meet."
Bond isn't sure if that was a reprimand for not meeting earlier, a compliment for managing to avoid it, or merely the expected verbiage.
"Indeed," is all he says.
Then again, it was probably the latter. Bond doubts that Mycroft would be here on a private whim.
The pleasantries are exchanged, and Bond and Mycroft each take a seat in front of the desk.
M comes right to the point. "What do you know about Sherlock Holmes, 007?"
Bond notices Mycroft facing him out of the corner of his eye. "It would have been hard to miss the news on that one, last year."
M nods as a signal for him to continue.
" While the Quartermaster doesn't talk about his family, he has mentioned two brothers at some point. I suppose that, since the exceptional minds run in the family..." He sends Mycroft a brief look. After all, one does not attain that kind of position without a remarkable intellect. Also, he assumes that even – or particularly – geniuses are not immune to flattery. (He already knows that Q is not.)
"... It's safe to assume that the case of Sherlock Holmes is not quite as simple as the media would have liked to make the public believe."
"It's not," M confirms.
"I also did some superficial research on his cases." He doesn't add 'In case you or Q will want me to do something about it.' Instead, he asks, "He's alive?"
Mycroft shifts in his seat, directing the other men's attention to him, while his hand remains on the handle of his umbrella in his hand. "My brother has found himself in a situation in which he had little choice but to disappear if he wanted to save the ones closest to him." He peeks at Bond. "The ones that are well known and are presenting easy targets, that is." He smiles a slow smile, one that is hardly even there. "While Sherlock has always found it easier to relate to Desmond than me, there has been little contact between them, and Desmond's records are, shall we say, rather tricky to come by, as you well know. And no enemy of his would have targeted me, as our relationship is strained at best, and a threat to me would hardly coerce him to do anything against his will." Mycroft's smile grows as he notices the steely look he receives from Bond. "I assure you, James, that your Quartermaster was quite safe, from this threat, at least."
Bond ignores the accusing quip that MI6 hasn't been able to protect Q from the near-kidnapping a while back. He can't avoid the stiffening of his muscles, however.
M doesn't feel the need to ignore it. "The threat to your brother was minimal, thanks to the additional training Mister Bond has taken upon himself to give him, and, with all due respect, we didn't have the threat to him safely locked away only to let them go, again."
Mycroft turns to look at him. "A miscalculation," he says, the tone of his voice not quite as dismissive as he's attempted. "Not one of my prouder moments, I admit, and not one I care to repeat. Hence my asking you for assistance."
Bond clears his throat. "So, your brother is off chasing James Moriarty?"
"James Moriarty is dead – however unfortunate the delay may have been – and the body has been… taken care of." He straightens in his seat. "Sherlock is attempting to make sure that there are no remaining operatives who could finish the job Moriarty paid them for, in the case Sherlock were to survive the rather dramatic final confrontation."
Bond knows all about that confrontation. While Q never mentioned Sherlock, Bond has kept an eye and ear out on the information he could get his hands on. He even managed to find a recording from a mobile phone that is still being kept under lock and key by various secret services, mostly because Q allows certain crossings of clearance levels on occasion that he probably shouldn't and to which M fakes ignorance. Doctor John Watson is a person he was surprised to find in his research. Not a person he would have expected to follow around a crazed detective and now becoming a target despite of the laws his detective has bent to protect him.
Still… since Moriarty apparently has been dead a while, that begs the question…
"And he needs help?"
Mycroft sighs. "Sherlock hasn't reported back in a while, and I haven't been able to contact him. This should be rectified, immediately, since we have new information on his last target and reason to believe that the target might have become the hunter, himself. And my brother, for his many talents, is not an assassin."
M pushes a folder across his desk towards Bond. "Have you heard of Sebastian Moran?"
Bond pauses and ignores the file. "Colonel Sebastian Moran?"
"Yes," M confirms. "Though dishonourably discharged."
"And rightfully so," Bond snaps. "I thought he was serving time."
"He was meant to, years ago," Mycroft says, taking over from M, again. "He has seen fit to disappear before the trial." He taps his umbrella on the floor, once. "You see how it is imperative to find Sherlock before Moran finds him, and I'm afraid that is beyond my people's capabilities. I need someone who knows how Sherlock thinks and has the means at his disposal to track him."
Bond smiles, slightly amused. "And why are you up here instead of in Q-Branch?"
Mycroft stretches his shoulders and moves to stand. "I merely went through the appropriate channels."
M stands as well, Bond follows suit, and M adds, "Once Sherlock Holmes has been found, I want you on it, 007. Moran needs to be taken out."
Bond nods. "Done."
"Then there is the safety of the targeted civilians. Since Moran assumingly knows about Holmes' survival, and we are currently unaware of his location, they might be in danger." He nods towards Mycroft. "We will have to do something about that."
On the way to Q-Branch, Mycroft strides alongside Bond.
"So, James, my brother has managed to settle in at his new position, I take it?"
Bond quirks a smile. "If you want somebody to spy on Q, you're asking the wrong person."
"You misunderstand me. I do of course already have an answer to that question. It is, after all, quite obvious. I was merely attempting to make conversation."
"Forgive me if I don't find that likely, Mycroft."
"Bond," M interrupts before Bond can go on. He's not sure how much his agent knows about Mycroft Holmes, but the last thing he needs is having Holmes out for MI6 because Bond – as per usual – doesn't know when to stop baiting.
"Quite alright, Gareth," Mycroft says, sounding sufficiently magnanimous. "I was not asking in any official capacity. Despite the radio silence between myself and my brothers, I was happy to hear of his newly found interpersonal connection."
"Relationship," Bond says. "The word you're looking for is relationship."
Mycroft smiles, ruefully. "Indeed. You may have realised by now that we Holmeses are not well-versed in the concept. All the more reason to be happy for Desmond."
Bond doesn't have an answer for that (and he's too sceptical to just accept the filial approval as what it appears to be), and M releases the breath he's been holding.
When entering Q-Branch, Q is standing to the side, looking over the shoulder of the one remaining programmer who is still designing at this hour, inspecting something on the screen. He can hear the steps behind him, but holds up a hand.
"One moment, please."
After a few moments, he straightens, grinning. "Excellent work. This should find an application or two."
His programmer grins back. "Thank you, sir," he says, before saving and closing the files and leaving his work station.
Q turns, expecting Bond (he knows those steps) and possibly Tanner (or M)... and freezes.
Mycroft smiles politely in a way that makes Bond's skin crawl.
"Quartermaster," he greets his brother. "You have made quite the work place for yourself..."
Q walks closer but remains at a respectable distance. "What can I do for you, Mister Holmes?"
Mycroft's smile melts away. "I need you to find Sherlock."
Q's eyes flicker first to M and then to Bond. He's not sure what to make of the unpleasantly complacent expressions. He knows just how...persuasive his brother can get, and he is somewhat disappointed that both M and Bond would fall for it.
"Forgive me, but if he does not want to be found, I'm certain there is a reason for it."
" Colonel Sebastian Moran," Mycroft says, knowing that there is no need to start with long-winded explanations. Not with Q. "I'm sure you will be able to find him in your database. He is the last remaining strand of Moriarty's network, and he has fallen off our grid." He pauses effectively, if only for a moment. "We have reason to believe that he may be about to turn tables on Sherlock and will either kill him first or go after the people Sherlock... died to protect."
He tilts his head towards the main work station. "Feel free to confirm that information."
" I'm afraid there is no time for familial disagreements," M interrupts. "Q, find Sherlock Holmes. Bond will be sent to take out the target, hopefullybefore the target gets to Holmes."
Q swallows the dirty look he wants to send M. "Yes, sir." He can't help turning to Bond before starting on his work. "You know Moran?"
Bond nods. "Make it quick."
That's all he needs to hear. Mycroft's machinations being what they are doesn't change the fact that nobody can pinpoint a threat like Bond.
Q walks to the centre of the room and starts up his personal machines. "Where and when was Sherlock's last confirmed location?"
"Three weeks ago, on the fourteenth. Hong Kong."
Q starts typing, his eyes flying over four different screens. "That will be all," he says, dismissively without turning around.
M nods, addressing Bond. "You're to stay here and leave the moment we have a position."
"Yes, sir." He steps up next to Q and follows the trails as much as he is able.
"What about the other three targets?" M asks Mycroft. "Will you have them brought to a secure location?"
Mycroft shifts and twirls the umbrella with the tip on the floor. "I'm afraid they are... somewhat out of sorts with me," Q snorts, and Mycroft quickly adds, "for several good reasons, of course, and they might be disinclined to heed my advice. And even without my involvement, I fear none of them would agree to wait out the storm, as it were."
"And none of them know that your brother is alive."
"No. They also believe me to be the only living relative..." He tilts his head and raises an eyebrow.
M understands and smiles, amused. "You think a surprise brother will shock them into compliance?" he asks, quietly, only loud enough for Mycroft to hear.
"It's worth a shot and better than the alternatives. Doctor Watson in particular might need the extra incentive. Detective Inspector Lestrade will of course obey a direct order, and Doctor Watson's landlady will, I believe, listen to his advice."
M nods. "Worth a shot, then, yes." He straightens and motions Mycroft to follow him out. "I trust you will find your way out. I have some spin doctoring to get underway. We wouldn't want your brother to be crucified upon his return, would we?"
Mycroft follows him out. "Of course. You will find the necessary information to prove my brother's innocence in the files I have provided. I trust you will wait with having it published until the threat is eliminated?"
The moment they're out of earshot, Bond kisses Q's cheek. "Your brother freaks me the fuck out."
Q's lips quirk. "Not just you..."
"He called me James and told me to call him Mycroft." He says that like the concept of first names has been designed solely to insult him.
Q laughs, then sighs. "This will probably take until morning." He leaves off the screen for long enough to look at James. Really look at him for the first time since he entered Q-Branch, earlier. Unlike Sherlock, he's not in some sort of personal war with Mycroft and all he stands for, but Mycroft still holds an inescapable presence; a presence that makes the youngest brother want to impress and rebel at the same time. Standing tall in his own department, in a position that he managed to gain out of his own power, his own intellect, his own work and without any help from a brother who may or may not be the government, did both.
Now that Q is in his element again with the one person to whom he has nothing to prove and against whom he has no reason to rebel, he relaxes.
Bond smiles benignly. "Shouldn't you be finding your stray brother?"
Behind them, the two programmers manning the night shift silently wander in. Q ignores them for a moment longer, kisses James slowly, chastely.
"Could you maybe get me a cup of tea, please?" he asks, making Bond grin. "And then get some rest. From the looks of things, you'll be off, come morning."
Bond leans in for another kiss. "It sounded like M will want you to get Sherlock's partner and possibly the other two targets."
Bond nods. "He might be the most difficult to convince that he needs protection."
Q gives him a curious smile. "You know him." It's not a question.
"I only met him once and in passing, I'm afraid. He must be quite the personality to keep a Holmes on his toes."
Q laughs and kisses James, one more time. "He must be." He smirks. "Tea, James."
Bond, for once, complies without complaint. "Yes, Quartermaster."
Sometime mid-morning, Greg Lestrade is on the phone when there's a knock at his door and one of his detectives waves a young woman inside and mouths 'home office'. Lestrade gestures her to come in and finishes the call.
"Yes. What can I do for you?" he asks, standing and holding out his hand.
She leans forward to shake the hand and puts a smart phone on the desk. "Eve Moneypenny. I'm afraid the thing about the home office was a lie." She opens an application on the phone. "I'm from MI6." With that, she turns and locks the door. "You might want to press play."
Lestrade briefly wonders if it's his own calm centre or the vague memory of having all-controlling government types hovering for too long that he merely does as she asks and doesn't just pull his gun on the woman (though he is very aware of its weight against his side).
He also knows the government types. They either walk into his territory because they want to take over… or…
He presses play and a voice recording comes to life.
"Let me give you a little extra incentive. Your friends will die if you don't."
Lestrade falls back into his seat.
A similar knock sounds on the wooden door of 221 B Baker Street. And, as it has been the case at New Scotland Yard, the visitor doesn't wait to be invited in.
John Watson looks up from the medical journal he's reading at the small table-slash-desk in the living room, expecting Mrs Hudson. Instead, he faces a young man and startles for a second. A long, terrifying second in which he almost feels as if he's seen a ghost out of the corner of his eye.
At least the intruder doesn't look like a physical threat, and he appears to be unarmed. He is also clearly hesitant.
"Yes?" John asks.
John straightens in his seat and puts an elbow on the back of his chair, but he doesn't stand. "Yes."
"Desmond Holmes." Good god, the name feels strange on his tongue. "MI6."
John's hesitant but open and curious eyes turn cold in an instant. "Is that so." After the name, he is clearly disinclined to believe a word that comes out of the stranger's mouth. MI6 doesn't really help…
Q smiles and takes something out of his coat pocket, putting it on the table in front of Watson. He is immediately glad that he insisted on being given the original phone and not just the recording. John Watson isn't with the police, and he isn't an agent. He was – is – Sherlock's closest and dearest friend and will need more than just the voice for proof.
John stands so quickly, his chair is toppling backwards. That… kid… with his name, his mop of hair, the dark coat, the blue eyes radiating in a myriad of shades, the slender frame, the pronounced cheekbones… has Sherlock's phone.
Q didn't think it possible, but once the doctor speaks, his voice is even colder than his eyes.
"Who sent you?"
"I suppose I could show you my ID, but we both know how much they're worth, don't we?"
John's lip actually twitches, though the smile is a steely one.
"There's a recording on that phone, Doctor Watson. In time, sometime soon, it will publicly prove that my… brother was not a fraud."
John licks his lips and clenches his fists. His brain is giving him wildly contradictory impulses, and he doesn't know which to follow.
"Sherlock only had one brother. Who the hell are you?"
"Mycroft would have come himself, but he feels that he is not welcome."
"Damn right, he's not!" John bursts out before he can stop himself.
Q grins. "He does occasionally spark that reaction in people."
John rubs his forehead. "Sherlock never mentioned a second brother." It's a statement. A small, safe haven in between the questions.
Q knows how to reply to that one. "He never would have mentioned Mycroft, either…"
John half-grins, again. "True," he says, the soldier straightening his back. "You said there was a recording?" He schools his features and gets ready to assemble the necessary information so that he can kick whoever the hell that kid is down the stairs. There is just no way any of this is true. It's… too much. Too much.
Q gestures him to see for himself, and John navigates the phone easily, still remembering its specifications. But when he sees the date of the latest recording, he hesitates and licks his lips again.
"If this is a joke, a trick or… I don't even know… You should know that my sense of humour was already fucked when Sherlock was still here, and it's non-existent, now."
"I am familiar with Sherlock's sense of humour."
John wants to take the phone and shove it down the kid's throat, but he presses play instead.
"Let me give you a little extra incentive. Your friends will die if you don't." – "John." – "Not just John. Everyone." – "Mrs Hudson." – "Everyone." – "Lestrade." – "Three bullets, tree gunmen, three victims. There's no stopping them, now."
The recording stops, and only then does John notice that he's sitting down, his vision blurred.
The kid – Holmes? – has stopped it and is now laying a hand on John's shoulder.
"Doctor?" Q tries to remind himself that he is also talking to a soldier, not just a doctor. Still, perhaps he should have brought him into MI6 first. Then again, what is the right way to tell someone that the person most important to them isn't actually dead?
"He…" John swallows. "He… killed himself… for us. Me." His eyes search his guest's.
Q sits. "Doctor Watson… let me assure you that if there had been no way to make everyone believe that he was dead in order to save you, my brother… would have done it."
John's eyes widen and his breath catches… and he isn't sure he can still hear even his own thoughts over the roaring in his ears that is sending a million questions through him, but for some reason, the first thing that he voices is… "Desmond, you said?"
Q smiles. "Call me Q."