Four months later
Q allowed his hand to hold Alison's hand as the two of them wandered back to her flat, looking around the street as snow slowly fell from the sky. His anorak was fastened up to his chin and gloves covered his hands whilst a red blue scarf hung around his neck. Alison wore a long grey coat with a red scarf, her hand holding Q's and her other one holding onto shopping bags.
She had to admit that spending an entire morning shopping in London had tired her out beyond belief. She was mainly grateful that she had money to go shopping with. It had taken her a month of endless searching before she finally admitted that finishing her degree wasn't for her and she looked for an internship in PR after reading about it and finding that it had piqued her interest.
"You do know that I am happy to spend Christmas at my flat, Ali," Q assured her and she shook her head as he reached around to take the bags from her hand, carrying them for her instead. She moved her now free hand to brush the snow from her hair.
"Nonsense," Alison shook her head. "Dad never cooks for dinner and he'll be fine if you came around. You don't want to be alone on Christmas Day."
"I usually wouldn't be but my parents are heading on holiday this time," Q responded to her. "I don't want him to think I'm interrupting. I know that Christmas is all about family."
Alison shrugged nonchalantly before trying to find her keys from her bag. "Well...we are now officially dating, Q. He won't mind. Besides, it will be nice to have some help in the kitchen."
"Do you think that I can cook?"
Alison laughed and shook her head back and forth. "I know you can't, but if you do as I say then we shouldn't have an issue."
"Dare I do anything but do as you say?" he joked with her, pecking her on the cheek as they finally came to the apartment block.
"Shut up," Alison shook her head at him. "I'm not that bad, Q. Don't be harsh. Anyway, we need to wrap these presents up when we get in. How are you going to send your presents to your parents?"
"I'll post them when they come back off holiday. Christmas has never been a big thing in our family," Q shrugged to her.
Alison unlocked the door to the flat, the sight greeting her one of shock. She looked at her father as he stood by the green tree, his black jumper covered in green needles from the tree. Alison chuckled at the sight of him as he hung a bauble on the tree. Q's brows furrowed and he pushed his glasses onto his nose, the sight of Bond doing something so domesticated causing him to look shocked. He didn't think he'd ever get used to seeing an agent doing something normal.
"What are you doing?" Alison wondered, hiding the present for her dad behind her back before she walked through the flat to her bedroom, dropping the present behind the door. "I said that I would put the tree up."
"I wanted to help," James replied. "Besides, I've just bought the tree. You can carry on decorating it now."
James nodded bluntly at Q after a second. The two men often had trouble differentiating what happened outside of work with work. Q had to admit that his nerves had died down when he was around Bond. He still knew his life wasn't worth living if he hurt Alison in any way.
"I also have a question," Alison said to her father. "Q has nowhere to go at Christmas so can he come here? I', the one who is cooking anyway so it's not like you need to worry about anything. Did you pick up the sprouts though?"
"I don't like sprouts," Bond muttered to her. "But you want Q to come here?"
"I'm fine alone," Q promised her and she shook her head at hearing him, turning to her father and doing her best to look pleading with him. She knew that she could crack him without really trying.
"No one is fine alone, Brenton," Alison spoke, using Q's full name and Bond chuckled. The quartermaster arched a brow as his lips pulled upwards.
"Real name," Bond commented. "She must really want you to stop protesting."
"Oh, don't be so harsh, dad," Alison said.
"I never said that he couldn't come," Bond reminded her. "So long as he behaves himself."
"Dare I do anything but?" Q joked back and Alison beamed.
Bond was slowly getting used to seeing a smile on his daughter's face again. She would often still be on edge, but he expected that from her. He knew that it would take time for her to be happy with his job. It still took him time to be able to leave her alone and know that she was safe. Not that she was really alone that often. Q had spent most of his time with her.
"Excellent," Alison said. "It's bad enough we're only just putting the tree up. We should have done that weeks ago."
"We've been busy with other things," Bond reminded his daughter as she removed her coat. Q did the same and hung both of them up on the coat stand by the door. "Anyway, I need to pop out so you two can continue trying to make this place look as festive as possible."
"That's a challenge," Alison joked back as Bond bent down the kiss her on the cheek. "Be good."
"I can only assume you're going out because you've done no Christmas shopping," Alison told him. "It's terrible out there. Christmas Eve really isn't the time to go shopping."
"I know," Alison said, "but that's only because I forgot some things."
"I'll be back for tea," Bond informed her and placed his coat onto his shoulders.
"Have fun out there," Q said as he followed Alison to the tree, looking up at it. Bond had only managed to put one bauble onto the tree and Q couldn't help but scoff at the sight of it.
"Right," Alison said, "we now have about two hours before he comes back so that he can't make a mess of anything. Knowing my luck he'll come back before I wrap up his present."
"I should hope you've already wrapped my present up," Q joked, looking at all of the baubles which sat in the box on the sofa. He pulled them from their packaging and handed them to Alison as she hung them on the tree.
"Now that would be telling," Alison responded. "However I doubt you've actually wrapped mine considering you needed twenty minutes shopping alone today."
"How do you know it was for you?" Q wondered.
"You're a man, Q," she informed him. "It isn't difficult to know that you'd be unorganised when it came to shopping. Look at my dad rushing off now."
Q chuckled and patted the small box which sat in his pocket. He took another moment to look at Alison before he contemplated giving her the present early. He didn't particularly want to give it to her in front of her father; knowing full well it would only make him more tongue tied. He handed her another bauble before he took the small box from his jacket and handed it to her instead of the bauble.
"Q," Alison whispered as she looked down at the velvet box, shaking her head back and forth as she did her best to think about what he could just have handed to her. Surely he wasn't already going to ask her to marry him.
"I'm not entirely known for being that imaginative," Q informed her as he took another step closer to her, watching her with interest for a few moments. "In fact, I had no idea what to buy you for Christmas until I saw it in the window and it reminded me of you...I don't know why...I guess it was an antique...silver...and it would help you to remember not to be late when we have a date."
Alison chuckled at the final part as Q rested his forehead against hers and watched her peel the box open, the sight of a silver chain with a small locket on the end making her well up. Q moved his hand, pressing the button at the top of the locket as the lid to it opened and revealed a clock with an empty space next to it for any photo she wished to put there.
"I know it's early, but I preferred to give you it now instead of wait for tomorrow," Q responded.
"It's beautiful," Alison promised him, quickly kissing him on the cheek before he pulled it from the box. He knew it could fit over her head without him unclasping it, yet he wanted to. She turned around and Q's shaking hands slowly moved her hair out of the way and he allowed the necklace to rest against her chest before she turned around, her hand touching it delicately as she left it above the green dress she wore.
"Thank you, Q," Alison sincerely said.
"You're more than welcome," Q told her. "Besides, I believe couples do this when they're in love."
Alison took a second to smirk at him before pressing her lips against his and wrapping her arms around his neck. Q startled for a moment but held her back, knowing full well that he could not be much more content in life.
A/N: So thank you to everyone who was stuck with me throughout this story! I only felt it right to give the happy couple a happy ending because of the fact that Q is too adorable for anything else to happen! One final review would be lovely and thank you for sticking with me!